Through our capstone program, HPA is breaking down the walls between school and the real world. We empower students to follow their interests and passions—and to make a positive impact on their communities in the process.”

Upper School capstone courses give you freedom to define a passion project; gain feedback from peers, teachers, and experts; and ultimately bring your work into the community to gauge its effectiveness and impact. The full capstone experience at HPA begins in Lower School, but is accessible to all students regardless of their entrance year. Where will your curiosity take you?

Capstone offerings for 2021-22

Agriculture and Design
In Agriculture and Design, we will examine our food system through the lens of our unique environment and the agricultural system that fully sustained a thriving Native Hawaiian population. In addition, we will analyze our current industrial food production methods and experiment with alternative systems of regenerative agriculture that renew and restore the land. Through a deepening of our understanding of food, farming and our relationship with the land, we will design and implement projects, products, and outcomes that serve our community and the environment.

Art, Culture, & Community
How can art reflect or create our sense of identity, culture, and community? Through personalized class investigations into relevant contemporary artists, this question will be explored and dissected through a medium of the students choice (painting, drawing, mixed media, photography, video). Students will propose an independent exploration that will ultimately culminate in a multi media installation. These projects will serve as a tool to affirm cultural identity and contribute to social engagement with the HPA community at large.

Business Innovations
Students will courageously explore their vision for products that could potentially grow into a business. They will use tools adopted in both established and entrepreneurial businesses to complete a cycle of design, measurement, analysis, development, verification and validation for their products. To do this, they will learn how to collect and process data to make informed choices relative to all aspects of a business– from product design to prototyping, from voice of the customer to increased sales, and from marketing to manufacturing.

Data-Driven Entrepreneurship
Success in the modern world requires both hard and soft skills. Data drives all our lives, even if most of us don’t know how. Yet data analysis, by itself, is insufficient. It needs to occur within the context of customer development and analytical decision-making. This capstone aims to help you develop a wide range of entrepreneurial skills and competencies that will be crucial for your future success in a wide range of fields. Your future starts now.

Global Politics and Policy Implementation
Our goal is to recognize and magnify influence on the global stage through direct and legitimate means. To accomplish this goal, students will examine and select a social conflict impacting our global community and then create a public policy outcome to assist in its rectification. This course’s outcomes will assist students interested in shaping various global affairs, ranging from politics to business and many avenues in between.

Humans and Technology
Cavemen had stone tools and fire, you have a smartphone and the internet. How can you use these tools to create music no one has ever heard, to study the activity of your brain, or to land a spaceship on another planet? This is your chance to create something all your own, from your own vision.

Marine Science and Advocacy
We will collectively learn about our ocean (develop the “knowing”), explore it with curiosity and wonder, gain a caring appreciation for its complexities and diversity, and use this to advocate for its health. Our curiosity will determine our focus areas as we learn about our reef system with fieldwork being an integral part of our studies. Students will increase their knowledge of our nearshore marine realm and apply this knowledge to advocate for its health and wellbeing.

Musicianship and Creating an Album
This Capstone is designed for the aspiring composer, arranger, or songwriter seeking to master the technical & performance skills and devices for a potential future in the Music & Songwriting Industry. A major goal is for students to acquire a method of studying and preparing songs in a variety of styles that reflect the manipulation of elements of music (like Rhythm, Melody and Harmony), with the ultimate goal of cultivating a more confident and comfortable songwriting artist.

No Kuʻu Hawaiʻi: For My Hawaii
This Capstone will introduce students to the Hawaiʻi Island culture, traditions, and community issues through on-site engagement and research. Students will study and experience traditional and modern methods of forestry, agriculture, aquaculture, voyaging, natural resource management, orature and literature, island geography, and history. The concluding capstone project for the course will be guided by the themes of the class.

Social Justice and Strategic Organization
How do we as individuals shape the world in which we want to live? Students will explore how we intentionally change as individuals, groups, and societies in ways that grow our capacity to shape a more just and equitable world. This capstone asks students to identify and investigate social justice problems, engage with the communities affected, organize and brainstorm solutions, implement systems, and receive feedback to make adjustments to plans. Students are asked to both remember where we have come from and imagine where we can go to enact social changes in our communities.

Sport and the Athlete
In Sport and the Athlete, students can explore any aspect of the sport and athletic world. Dr. Carol Dweck’s Mindset: The New Psychology of Success will be used as a jumping-off point to examine the factors that lead to success in any area of life. In addition, students will engage in regular discussions around topics such as sports and athletes in the media, the social function of sports, the influence of sports on society, and mental health and sport.

The Art of Story
The Art of Story is centered around creative writing and editing skills that will allow each student to learn the important craft of storytelling in their chosen medium. As humans, we are “wired for story,” and strong storytelling skills give students an edge in all aspects of life. We will begin with the foundational skills of storytelling and writing techniques and then begin the work of learning through experience. We will also explore design, publishing, publicity, and social media from the standpoint of a writer. Students will have time in-class for writing.


Projects & capstone courses at HPA, upper campus, 9-12

Looking for the full story?

Complete capstone course descriptions can be found in our Upper School course catalog.